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Hilton Head resident Lisa Cleaver spent seven years helping her mother fight cancer, and when she lost that battle, Cleaver was lost as well. Luckily, a Crash saved her.

“I’m a psychotherapist, but I know that grief is a grand leveler. You respond to grief just like everybody else. I knew I needed to have a special soul and spirit to take care of — and that was Crash,” says Cleaver of her 3-year-old Mal-Shi, a Maltese and Shih Tzu mix. “Crash is such an uplifting, loving spirit, I can’t even call him a dog. I call him Crash of God. He really saved me from crashing and burning.”

Janet RahnIf it involves training, showing, grooming or boarding dogs, Janet Rahn has done it.

She had a pet and grooming store on Hilton Head for 20 years before selling it in the 1990s.

She traveled the world with Purina’s Performance Agility Team. When an injury sidelined that endeavor, she quickly found the next one.

Now, she crisscrosses the country with show dogs as their handler.

Hilton Head Monthly's 2015 Cutest Pets

Hundreds of readers sent in photos of their cute pets for our annual “Cutest Pets” issue. This year’s contest was decided by the number of “likes” each photo got on our Facebook page. In a heated battle, the adorable Monster won with 415 “likes,” beating out the super cute Goose who had 357 “likes.” The victory prize for Monster was a special package from Tail Wiggles, sponsor of the contest. /p>


By Kim Salerno

Many of us plan on hitting the road with our pets this month for a little summer fun. However, for some four-legged family members, road trips can mean upset tummies.

That feeling of dread when you realize you cannot take your pet on vacation with you. The worrying about who will take care of your four-legged friend, handle an emergency and ensure your pet gets enough daily exercise. Don’t sweat it! Evergreen Pet Lodge is the perfect spot for your furry friend while you are away.  No need to sit around on your vacation stressing about it.

Thinking of adding a pet to your family? Here are five reasons to adopt your new best friend.

1. If you adopt, you'll save a life

Around 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year, simply because too many people give up their pets and too few people adopt from shelters. Many shelters are at capacity, and staff members sometimes need to make very hard decisions to euthanize animals that haven't been adopted.

It seems everywhere that Kiva goes, folks fall for her pretty face. People want to pet her and ask about her breed, while children smile and joke about the song “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” Kiva is a popular girl in Bluffton, but more importantly, she is the longtime friend and companion of Brittany Orr.

If you are heading to Brighton Beach in Bluffton, you might have seen cute little pig grazing in the yard of a house on Alljoy Road — and then you probably did a touble take, as most people do. That’s Lila the pig, owned by Diane Owens and Walter “Wally” Sumner.

“I called her my chemo pig,” Owens said. “She was my companion and kept me going when I was battling cancer, and now she has become kind of the neighborhood mascot. Everybody loves Lila.”

Some of the best teachers of humanity aren’t human at all — they’re our canine companions. In his novel “By His Side: Tales of Love and Loyalty Between a Man and His Dogs,” Brian David Kolowich brings this concept to light as the reader views life through the eyes of Kolowich’s springer spaniel, Georgia, and her mixed-breed son Batman, as well as other dog characters like Batman’s brother Chai.

Melanie Steele raises championship greyhounds at her Bluffton home. But in February, a litter of 5-day-old puppies kept her from traveling to New York City for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

From her computer, she watched as her 3-year-old show dog GrandCru Giaconda pranced across the green carpet at The Piers to win the Westminster Best of Breed award.